Bridgeville Events
Thursday, June 15th, 2000

Police consider taking to the streets on foot

By Ronda Frances Jefferson

The Bridgeville Town Commissioners met Monday, June 12. During the meeting, Police Chief Allen Parsons presented some ideas to improve the policing of the town. In May, Parsons attended the National Conference on Community Policing. He came back with some ideas on how to begin a foot patrol that would help improve the department's interaction with the community.
One possibility would be hiring a new police officer through the Cops More program. One of the provisions of this program is that the town would have to keep the officer on the payroll for at least four years.
The federal government would assist the town during the first three years, but the fourth year would be paid solely by the town. Another possibility would be to have the existing officers spend a certain amount of time per day or week patrolling the community on foot. However, one of the problems with this idea is that if the officer is away from the patrol car and an emergency situation occurs, response time would be increased.
While these ideas are still under discussion, Parsons was authorized to begin the preliminary paperwork required to enlist in the Cops More program. If necessary, the application can be withdrawn.

Meanwhile, Parsons will try to create a schedule that would allow an officer to come into work an hour early or another officer to stay an hour late, thereby having two officers on duty at one time.
In that hour, one officer could patrol part of the town on foot. Another addition to the Bridgeville community is the New Coverdale Outreach Mission. Diane Lofland, who began the Mission in January, has hopes of expanding it from a food pantry to a soup kitchen for all residents.
In the winter months, the program was especially helpful for those who were having trouble with their bills. When faced with either having to pay a bill or place food on the table, they were able to go the mission and receive help. In the short time it has been open, it has already aided 100 clients.
With the hopeful expansion, though, comes the need for more assistance. Lofland attended the meeting in hopes of making the existence of the mission known as well as asking if anyone would be able to help with the project.
While Lofland needs monetary support for it, she also needs volunteers to serve as well as to help with maintenance, carpentry, landscaping and in many other areas. For details, contact Lofland at 337-0247. Donations may be mailed to RR 3 Box 668 Bridgeville, DE 19933.